West Ham should trump Arsenal in race for Piccini

According to reports, West Ham will have to battle Arsenal for the signing of impressive right back Cristiano Piccini.

What’s the word?

Arsenal are now in pole position to sign highly rated full back Cristiano Piccini, but West Ham and Juventus are also hot on the trail.

The Sporting CP defender has three assists in 22 league starts this season, and has attracted interest from a number of Premier League clubs.

Sporting signed the 25 year-old for just £2.6million from Real Betis last year, and are now thought to want somewhere in the region of £17.5m to sell him this summer.

Perfect fit for the Hammers?

Valued at £5.85m by Transfermarkt, Piccini has had a wonderful season in Lisbon.

The Italian born defender excels flying forward, completing an impressive 1.8 dribbles per game this season. He also has the physicality to compete as a Premier League defender, winning 1.5 aerial duels per game and two tackles per game.

West Ham are in desperate need of reinforcements at the back, and Piccini could well be the solution.

Pablo Zabaleta has been great for the Hammers, but the veteran will be 34 by the end of next season, and certainly does not have the legs to fly up and down the line like his Manchester City days.

Piccini is not a signing that’s going to set the league alight, but he is a very solid and consistent defender, which is exactly West Ham need at the moment.

The interest from Arsenal is strong, but with Hector Bellerin looking likely to stay in North London, the Italian right back would be much better suited as a Hammer.

So, West Ham fans, would you back a £17.5m deal for Piccini this summer? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below…